SERIZAWA Takamichi

Position: Affiliated Lecturer

MAIL: serizawa [at]

Research Departments

Social Coexistence


Philippine history, Japanese intellectual history

Research Interests

・Writing History in America’s Shadow: Japan, the Philippines and Question of “Pan-Asianism”
・ “Indigenization” of Communism in the Philippines during the 1930

Writing History in America’s Shadow: Japan, the Philippines and Question of “Pan-Asianism”
In both cases of the Philippines and Japan, the US occupation launched a new history that justifies US rule under the name of progress, democracy and freedom while locating the preceding periods, the Spanish colonial period for the Philippines and the wartime militant regime for Japan, as “the dark age.” For the sake of liberation, US violence upon pacification was even considered a necessary punishment. In each historical consciouness of the Japanese and Filipino, the US brutality was not clearly recognized because of the modernization that US benevolently brought to the two countries. Today such a kind of US foreign practice turned out to be no longer efficient due to the US failure bringing modernization and order in the Middle East. Furthermore the rise of China’s presence in Asia has weakened the US hegemonic power in the region. This study aims at promoting interactions among Japanese and Filipino in terms of sharing the defeat experience by questioning peace and democracy guaranteed by US hegemonic power.

“Indigenization” of Communism in the Philippines during the 1930
I have newly conducted an archival research in the Comintern Archives in Moscow in order to research how the idea of Communism was spread in the Philippines. During the 1920s to 30s, there were the peasants uprisings called “Korolums” or “Sakadalistas.” My archival research suggests that CPP frequently received the instructions from the Comintern to ally with other peasant uprising groups in order to undermine the US imperial as well as the commonwealth government regimes. In fact the leaders of the peasant uprisings and CPP had meetings and this suggests the former binary understanding between left and right is not adequate to apply to understand the dynamism of social movements, then.

  • Serizawa, Takamichi. “Translating Philippine history in America’s shadow: Japanese reflections on the past and present during the Vietnam War” Southeast Asian Studies, vol. 50, no. 2, pp. 222-245, 2019.
  • 芹澤隆道.「アメリカの影の下の共有された歴史―小笠原, フィリピン, 日本―」, Quadrante: クァドランテ: 四分儀: 地域・文化・位置のための総合雑誌, pp. 31-40, 2019年
  • Serizawa, Takamichi. “Japanese Solidarity Discourse on the Philippines during WWII,” Philippine Studies, vol. 63, no. 1, pp. 71-100, 2015.
  • Serizawa, Takamichi. A Genealogy of Japanese Solidarity Discourse on Philippine History: War with America and Area Studies in the Cold War, Ph.D. Dissertation, National University of Singapore, 2013.
  • 芹澤隆道.「フィリピン・コルディレラ山地の「アメリカ化」とイゴロットの対日協力問題」, 『東南アジア研究』, 京都大学東南アジア研究所, 50巻1号, pp. 109-139, 2012年

  • The Issue of National Language and Historical Awareness in the Philippines:
    The Japanese Military Administration as a Continuation of an “Unfinished Revolution” (Grant-in-Aid for JSPS Postdoctoral Fellows, 2016-2018)

    This study will shed a light on a “change” aspect under the Japanese military administration (1942-1945) in the Philippine society by focusing on the interrelation between the issue of Filipino national language and their historical awareness. The need of a common language which could unify the nation language was a great issue for the Commonwealth government established in 1935. This task was contingently succeeded by the followed Japanese military administration. In order to “de-Americanize” Filipino people and circulate “pro-Japan” discourse, the Japanese military administration promoted Tagalog as the national language and attempted to underneath the supremacy of Spanish and English languages. On one hand, this policy was the product of the Japanese ideology which welcomed Filipino people taking a part of “the Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere.” While on the other hand, the Tagalog texts appeared during the period invoked the criticism on the US material culture, skepticism on the Western development, and re-evaluation of peasant life. This study aims at revealing how this exhalation of Filipino nationalism during the Japanese military regime re-interpreted the event of Filipino revolution, which was seen as a “premature” uprising during the US colonial period, and what kind of new identities of Filipino people were searched by paying attention to their dilemmas shaken between West and East.

  • Comparing “indigenization” of Communism in Southeast Asia during the interwar period (1919-1939) (Resona Foundation for Asia and Oceania, 2017)

    This study aims at understanding how the idea of Communism was adopted and disseminated among the societies in colonized or semi-colonized Southeast Asia during the period between the two World Wars. The previous studies regarding the idea of Communism in Southeast Asia have employed the nation-state framework. They have distinguished capitalist group countries and socialist group countries and examined how the idea of Communism impacted or did not impact for their respective nation-building projects.
    In contrast with such trend found in the previous studies, this study examines the period of the 1920s when the idea of Communism was gradually introduced to the societies in Southeast Asia to the end of 1930s when Communism attained a large number of supporters due to the world economic crisis occurring at that time. By setting this period, we may able to focus on the similar experience of being poorer across the people in colonized and semi-colonized Southeast Asia. Furthermore, this study also aims at exploring the process how the idea of Communism, originating in Europe, was adopted and disseminated in Southeast Asia, endangering conflicts as well as fusions with “indigenous” beliefs and religions. Based on this conceptualization of the “indigenization of Communism,” this study attempts to explore the process of synchronization between Communism and local beliefs, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity or Confucianism. By doing so, we may able to extract the unique ideas of social reform in Southeast Asia.